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by Published on 2011-02-03 08:56 AM

Patch 4.0.6 - PTR Build 13596
A new PTR build has been deployed on test realms and changes ... absolutely nothing, actually. It's just Build 15380 with more hotfixes, I guess Blizzard plans to release that patch very very soon now.

For a list of changes, well, just check the official patch notes! I'll probably start working on better recaps over the week-end and try to confirm a patch date, even if it's probably-maybe next week at this point.

Nefarian US First Kill by Blood Legion
Blood Legion (US-Illidan) was the first guild in the US to defeat Nefarian in 25-Man Heroic Mode! Congratulations to them for the kill!

Conquest Points - Breaking Skulls and Buying Stuff
Blizzard posted a short guide to explain how Conquest Points work, it's probably a little late and useless for all the PvPers out there but I guess it can be useful if you didn't have time to try the new rated battlegrounds yet.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Bone-shattering PvP conflicts can be harrowing and demanding, but smart gladiators know that if you want to emerge triumphant, you need to walk onto the battlefield well-equipped.

In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, certain PvP pursuits reward players with a new kind of currency: Conquest Points. Conquest Points can be exchanged for the very best PvP armor, gear, and weapons in the game, allowing you to hone your competitive edge in the ring and on the battlefield.

Those Gladiator items are calling, but how do you get the Conquest Points to buy them? There are three main ways to do so:

  • Winning Arena matches
  • Winning Rated Battleground games
  • Winning your first Random Battleground game of the day

Each time your team wins a Rated Arena or Rated Battleground match, you're awarded a certain number of Conquest Points; no points are awarded for losing, however. Your first Random Battleground win of the day will also net you 25 Conquest Points.

There's a limit on how many Conquest Points you can gain over the course of a single week, and points earned from all sources count toward that total. Everyone starts at 0 personal rating with a weekly cap of 1,343, which is the most points you can accrue over the course of a week. Unlike Honor and Justice Points, Conquest (and Valor) points do not have an overall cap.

Note:There's no benefit to hoarding large amounts of Conquest Points since they'll be converted into Honor (or Justice Points, for Valor) when the next tier of items becomes available, and there are no plans to extend the 4,000 point cap on the lower-tier currencies. That conversion is still rather far in the future, though, and we plan to provide plenty of advance warning before it happens. In the meantime, feel free to purchase items you want as soon as you can afford them.

If you want to be able to earn more than 1,343 Conquest Points in a single week, then you'll need to increase your personal rating above 1,500 by participating in Rated Arenas or Rated Battlegrounds. Only your best personal rating counts, and as you improve and bring your rating over 1,500, your weekly point cap will rise as well -- and if you manage to achieve a very high rating, your weekly cap could approach 3,000. Here are some sample ratings and corresponding point caps:

RatingWeekly Points Cap

You can check your current total number of Conquest Points at any time in your character's Currency tab. For more detailed information, open the PvP menu and click on the Conquest tab, where you'll find how close you are to the weekly cap and how many points you'll earn by winning an Arena or Rated Battleground match. You can check out what the Conquest Point vendors have to offer in the Champions' Hall in Stormwind or the Hall of Legends in Orgrimmar.

Now that you know what you're fighting for, it's time to show Azeroth your incredible PvP skills. Confront your foes. Fight! Win!

Blue Posts
Scarce but at least blue posters are back. I miss Ghostcrawler, a lot.
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Outland "difficulty" in Cataclysm
Hi Syrenea. While I certainly commend your desire for difficulty, I don't think we want to slow down the leveling experience. I think most people will agree that they're either leveling an alt and want to catch it up quickly, or they just started playing and want to catch up to their friends.

Certainly some of the lessons we've learned in quest flow, mechanics, rewards, etc. could make Outland quests better, but we don't have any plans at this time to go back. And certainly not to slow the process down. While the Outland zones maybe aren't as awesome as Cataclysm zones, they definitely aren't horrible, and the speed at which you rocket through them certainly helps the majority hit their end game goals.

If you're finding the process of being a minor god squishing Outland creatures in your palm a little tedious, maybe find some ways to up the challenge. Pull a few more mobs at a time. Maybe even challenge yourself and add one more every time. Or how about every enemy you kill in under X seconds you remove one piece of gear. I don't know, I think there are things you can do to keep it interesting. If you have any you use and enjoy, share them! (Source)
by Published on 2011-02-02 08:45 AM

Things aren't getting better and community managers literally disappeared from the surface of the Earth. The good news is that at this rate, I'll probably be desperate enough to post pictures of naked gnomes by the end of the week (don't worry, as far as I know everyone will be back to work today).

Halfus Wyrmbreaker Spawn Cycle
Ever since the release of Cataclysm, people have been posting on the Raids & Dungeons forums each week to ask what the spawns are for Halfus Wyrmbreaker. Our lovely and awesome Simca eventually started Theory: Halfus is not random to see if we can predict the encounters for the upcoming weeks.

The answer is yes, the add rotation is fully known and verified and unless Blizzard hotfixes something, you should now be able to plan your raids accordingly. (The naming scheme is the one from the original post, that's why the week # aren't in the right order)

Week # US Realms Drakes EU/KR/TW Realms Drakes
Week #9 (Feb 1 - Feb 7)Slate Dragon, Time Warden, WhelpsNether Scion, Slate Dragon, Time Warden
Week #10 (Feb 8 - Feb 14)Nether Scion, Time Warden, WhelpsSlate Dragon, Storm Rider, Time Warden
Week #1 (Feb 15 - Feb 21)Storm Rider, Time Warden, WhelpsNether Scion, Storm Rider, Time Warden
Week #2 (Feb 22 - Feb 28)Nether Scion, Storm Rider, WhelpsNether Scion, Storm Rider, Slate Dragon
Week #3 (Mar 1 - Mar 7)Nether Scion, Slate Dragon, WhelpsSlate Dragon, Time Warden, Whelps
Week #4 (Mar 8 - Mar 14)Slate Dragon, Storm Rider, WhelpsNether Scion, Time Warden, Whelps
Week #5 (Mar 15 - Mar 21)Nether Scion, Slate Dragon, Time WardenStorm Rider, Time Warden, Whelps
Week #6 (Mar 22 - Mar 28)Slate Dragon, Storm Rider, Time WardenNether Scion, Storm Rider, Whelps
Week #7 (Mar 29 - Apr 4)Nether Scion, Storm Rider, Time WardenNether Scion, Slate Dragon, Whelps
Week #8 (Apr 5 - Apr 11)Nether Scion, Storm Rider, Slate DragonSlate Dragon, Storm Rider, Whelps

Al'akir Heroic World 2nd Kill by Paragon Video
Paragon released a video of their world 2nd kill of Al'akir in 25-man Heroic Mode! Hopefully this one will make people slightly less angry than the Nefarian videos.

The Daily Blink - How it works
Another comic from The Daily Blink!

by Published on 2011-02-01 05:37 AM

Is Patch 4.0.6 This Week?
I already answered that question on monday/sunday but people will ask anyway. No, the patch isn't this week.

Addon Review - OreCrusher (by chaud)
OreCrusher is an addon that helps Jewelcrafters determine the most profitable way to use ore. It is similar to the Shuffling Spreadsheet and has most of the features necessary from it.

After manually entering the price of a stack of Cataclysm Ore, it will give you the optimal route to profit. It looks at disenchanting the items that are crafted using uncommon gems, transmuting gems with Alchemy, and just selling the gems directly. You need either Auctionator or AuctionLite/Auctioneer/AuctionMaster to pull in the prices. Auctionator is recommended. If you are using Auctioneer, you can force the GetAuctionBuyout pricing method by using the toggle command /oc altbuyout.

The main screen (opened with /oc) requires you to input a price for each type of ore, and the number or stacks to use when calculating profit. Pressing Do It! will change the calculated values to the type of ore you have selected. Each of the uncommon and rare gems are listed with the expected amount of each gem and the total price for that many gems. A total is displayed at the bottom of the list for just selling the gems on the AH.

On the right hand side the total from selling enchanting materials gained through crafting items with uncommon gems and disenchanting them along with selling cut rare gems is shown. The third route involves transmuting the uncommon gems into rare gems with optional Transmute Mastery bonus. Rare cut profit is currently just done as an overall percentage rather than looking at the cuts you can craft and selecting the most profitable one. The maximum profit and route to get there is show at the right hand side on the bottom, along with the total cost of the ore.

The disenchant values screen shows the expected amount of enchanting materials and their total values as well as the enchanting route value of each uncommon gem used. An optional modifier allows you to increase the value of the materials further through scroll markup. Keep in mind that the gems used for the Jewelcrafting daily quest (Jasper, Nightstone, and Zephyrites) are often worth much more gold on the day of the quest due to the demand from lazy Jewelcrafters.

You can scale the windows with a slider under the Disenchanting Values window (it is not working perfectly yet) and mouse over each gem's name to see the value. Mousing over the total numbers on the right will give you a profit number for each option.

The addon does not take into account gem transmutes currently, according to the author this is a planned feature. Another possible feature would include looking at your Jewelcrafting skills and basing the rare cuts off of what you can actually cut. Head over the addon comments on Curse to suggest more features!

Nefarian 25 Heroic World 2nd Kill video by Method
Method released a video of their World 2nd kill of Nefarian today, since this is the hotfixed version of the encounter I assume that a lot of people will be interested in it.

Curse is still recruiting!
Curse is still recruiting! The company has been growing quickly in the past few months, and we have opened even more positions!

Comic - Skill vs. Gear
This comic from Nerf NOW!!! makes me happy. The forums are that way.

by Published on 2011-01-31 05:32 AM

Let's have a late sunday raid news! As far as my information goes, 4.0.6 will not hit the live realms this week, as usual I could be wrong but I doubt it.

Paragon vs Nefarian 25 Heroic World First Kill Video
Paragon released a video of their controversial world first kill of Nefarian 25 in Heroic Mode.

Cataclysm Tier 1 Raid Hall of Fame
It's been a long time since the Hall of Fame, I almost forgot about it for Cataclysm but it's nice to have a list of first kills for each region at the end of a raiding tier! I added Taiwanese kills to the list because some of these guilds are very competitive and deserve the attention.

Heroic Boss Kills
Halfus Wyrmbreaker Adept
EU-Tarren Mill
TW-Crystalpine Stinger
Dec. 15 - 15:02 GMT
Dec. 15 - 13:41 GMT
Dec. 16 - 20:22 GMT
Conclave of Wind Adept
EU-Lightning's Blade
TW-Crystalpine Stinger
Dec. 18 - 14:05 GMT
Dec. 17 - 00:46 GMT
Dec. 22 - 16:55 GMT
Omnotron Defense System vodka
US-Alterac Mountains
EU-Tarren Mill
TW-Crystalpine Stinger
Dec. 23 - 07:43 GMT
Dec. 16 - 15:56 GMT
Dec. 19 - 19:13 GMT
Maloriak Premonition
TW-Crystalpine Stinger
Dec. 21 - 06:07 GMT
Dec. 21 - 16:08 GMT
Dec. 25 - 02:06 GMT
Chimaeron vodka
US-Alterac Mountains
EU-Tarren Mill
TW-Crystalpine Stinger
Dec. 28 - 07:52 GMT
Dec. 20 - 22:51 GMT
Dec. 23 - 23:00 GMT
Atramedes vodka
US-Alterac Mountains
TW-Crystalpine Stinger
Dec. 31 - 06:17 GMT
Dec. 27 - 01:46 GMT
Jan. 3 - 03:42 GMT
Magmaw Premonition
TW-Crystalpine Stinger
Dec. 30 - 05:26 GMT
Dec. 29 - 23:14 GMT
Jan. 2 - 00:43 GMT
Valiona / Theralion vodka
US-Alterac Mountains
EU-Lightning's Blade
TW-Crystalpine Stinger
Jan. 8 - 03:45 GMT
Jan. 1 - 22:00 GMT
Jan. 4 - 19:37 GMT
Ascendant Council vodka
US-Alterac Mountains
EU-Lightning's Blade
TW-Crystalpine Stinger
Jan. 16 - 03:20 GMT
Jan. 2 - 19:54 GMT
Jan. 11 - 16:20 GMT
Nefarian ---
EU-Lightning's Blade
Jan. - : GMT
Jan. 9 - 21:08 GMT
Jan. - : GMT
Cho'gall vodka
For The Horde
US-Alterac Mountains
TW-Crystalpine Stinger
Jan. 22 - 05:22 GMT
Jan. 15 - 01:17 GMT
Jan. 17 - 18:34 GMT
Sinestra vodka
US-Alterac Mountains
EU-Lightning's Blade
TW-Crystalpine Stinger
Jan. 29 - 04:42 GMT
Jan. 20 - 15:06 GMT
Jan. 27 - 17:18 GMT
Al'akir Adept
EU-Lightning's Blade
TW-Silverwing Hold
Jan. 27 - 14:50 GMT
Jan. 24 - 21:57 GMT
Jan. 22 - 08:09 GMT

It's probably a good occasion to point out that vodka got the US first kill on Sinestra earlier this week. I didn't give a lot of love to US first kills during that raid tier, I suggest that US guilds spam me a lot more in the future to prevent that. (Bribes work too)

The MMO Report
It's monday, and it's the MMO Report with real pieces of Casey inside!

Dark Legacy Comics #274 is out!

by Published on 2011-01-29 07:53 AM

Patch 4.0.6 Release Date?
A lot of people have been asking me for a release date, and to be honest at this point I'm not really sure I have one. The last 2 PTR builds (13561 and 13580) were both flagged as Release Candidate but the last one isn't even deployed on PTRs.

Also, someone did something funny with the official blog and put up a Patch 4.0.6 Official Notes [PLACEHOLDER] post as a test, it would be logical to see Patch 4.0.6 on live realms next week after that but with an undeployed PTR Build in my hands I'm not really going to confirm anything before Monday, and personally I wouldn't be surprised if it happened the week after.

Patch 4.0.6 - PTR Notes Update
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Tol Barad
  • Attacking forces will receive a 200% capture speed bonus when they control 2 keeps.
  • Defending forces will receive a 200% capture speed bonus when they control all 3 keeps.
  • Daily quest creatures, herbs, minerals, etc. will only spawn when Tol Barad is in the quest phase between battles. There will be 5-minute and 1-minute warnings before the quest phase ends. The quest phase ends 15 minutes before the battle for Tol Barad begins and queuing is made available. At that time any players in the daily micro dungeons will be ported just outside. This does not apply to Tol Barad Peninsula or the daily quests there.

Mage (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Fireball mana cost has been reduced to 9% of base mana.
  • Frostfire Bolt mana cost has been reduced to 9% of base mana.

Priest (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
  • Strength of Soul now occurs when the priest casts Inner Focus on oneself, rather than Power Word: Shield. In addition, Strength of Soul now also causes the priest to become immune to silence, interrupt, and dispel effects for 2/4 seconds after using Inner Focus.

  • Rare fishing poles now have a chance to be found in the Bag of Fishing Treasures earned via the Stormwind and Orgrimmar Fishing daily quests.

  • Wrath of the Lich King purple, green, and orange gems have been increased in cost to match red, blue, and yellow epic gems (220 Justice Points). Burning Crusade epic gems have been increased in cost to match the most expensive Wrath of the Lich King gems.

  • Item Sets
    • Normal PvE helms (item level 359) no longer have a chance to drop from Nefarian or Cho'gall on Heroic difficulty. Instead, the Heroic PvE helm and shoulder pieces (item level 372) only require their associated Crown/Shoulders of the Forlorn tokens to purchase, and do not require players to obtain the normal helms or shoulders first.

Nefarian World 2nd kill by Method
Method killed Nefarian a few hours ago and is the 2nd guild in the world to take down the big black dragon. It's also the world first kill since the hotfix preventing class stacking but technically, that wasn't an exploit, so I'll just let people debate endlessly about it in comments. Congratulations to them!

Statement from Method
Nefarian down, putting us at 13/13 (finally a breath of fresh air!!!). Thumbs up for the dedication shown by our raiding team.

The current heroic difficulty of raiding is both enjoyable and demanding. We can all welcome, with open arms, the more challenging raid content, but the sheer quantity of content available since Cataclysm launch has required more time investment than ever before to remain competitive. Personally I would have welcomed a 'reasonable' gate-system or similar to allow for more real life time the past ~2months, especially with xmas/new years/exams etc. Taking a few day breaks over the festive period only to be notified that other guilds were currently raiding obviously wasn't ideal!

This tier of raiding has unfortunately contained multiple bugs, with bosses like Atramedes, Sinestra, and Nefarian standing out. Sinestra had some notable issues for us; having infinite lines at Twilight orbs making progress prior to this current reset difficult. Twilight Flames properly spawning at the Egg locations in phase 1 was also fixed recently on the fight (can see they are non existent @ Paragon's video). The issues on Nefarian are of more concern, with Blizzard seemingly overlooking certain class abilities on a key encounter mechanic. Unsure as to why it was waited with until after a guild had killed Nefarian before applying the fix, especially with "top guilds" apparently under surveillance, such delayed fixes are harmful to the 'PvE race'.

Hoping that Blizzard can keep up with the quality of heroic raid difficulty while considering the quantity available and as always more vigorous encounter testing/monitoring.


Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Dalaran/Shattrath Portals
Portals existed to give people access back to capital cities to reach auction houses and class trainers. Auction houses and class trainers were kept in the old world capitals because we knew that if we didn't require people to go back the old world would be a ghost town.

Those portals had a few fun side effects like letting people warp all around the world toot-sweet at the shake of a nose to do anything they felt like. This was not the intent of the portals and regardless if people enjoyed being able to zip around, it is not the intent of our travel as it exists now to allow them to do so.

Now that the old world capitals are the major hubs in the current expansion, the expansion zones are in Azeroth which keeps more people around, and we've decided to add trainers and auction houses to Shattrath and Dalaran to aid in the leveling experience, the portals no longer serve their original purpose and were removed.

[...] We have no plans to implement the old portals back in the game, but thank you for you reasons as to why they should. They've been noted. (Source)

Blizzard Art Gallery Update
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
The World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade Art Gallery has been updated with five pieces representing the Warcraft universe. Make your way through the gallery to take a glimpse into the process behind bringing Blizzard games to life, and the artistry those games have inspired.
The high res version of the Kil'Jaeden artwork is a 17280 x 10368 image (16mb!), you can probably make an awesome poster out of it.

by Published on 2011-01-27 08:32 PM

Update - Added Blue Posts and a nice wallpaper!

Patch 4.0.6 PTR Build 13580
Another build will be deployed on test realms tonight, I'm sure you will all understand that the impressively short list of changes means that we're closer to the live release of the patch now.

Achievements Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Player vs. Player

Item Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
  • Feludius' Mantle now has +154 Spirit, up from 144 and +164 Critical strike rating, up from 154.
  • Feludius' Mantle now has +176 Spirit, up from 166 and +186 Critical strike rating, up from 176.


Spell Changes
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
Hunter (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Pet Abilities
  • Spore Cloud (Sporebat) now has a 8 sec cooldown, down from 12 sec. Now reduces the casting speed of all enemy targets within 6 yards by 30% for 10 sec, up from 25% for 9 sec.

Mage (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)

Warlock (Forums / Cataclysm Talent Calculator / Beta Skills/Talents)
Pet Abilities

Core Hound Pup Adoption Campaign
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
If your account is protected by a Authenticator or the Mobile Authenticator, then you already know how safe and secure your Core Hound Pup pet can make you feel. But there are plenty of players out there who can still benefit from the companionship and peace of mind that our infernal puppy provides.

We're kicking off a Core Hound Pup adoption campaign and we need your help! Simply send us funny, cute, or just plain epic screenshots featuring your fiery two-headed buddy. We'll be picking two of the most memorable images each month in 2011 and awarding the winners with a brand new iPad.

If you have yet to adopt a Core Hound Pup of your very own, then don't wait a moment longer, or we just might have to give you the big puppy-dog eyes. Visit our account security site to learn how to get a Authenticator or download the Mobile Authenticator, available through our mobile apps page or as a free download from the Apple App Store or the Android Market.

Adopt a puppy! Protect your loots! Win an iPad! Read the contest rules for details and eligibility requirements, and happy screenshotting!

Blue Posts
Originally Posted by Blizzard Entertainment
Tol Barad faction balance "exploit"
It doesn't actually work. The balance of factions is not dependant on if you’re in a raid or not. It's a mis-perception based on the inability to see the opposing team's numbers. What’s happening is that you can leave a raid, remain in Tol Barad, and because your old raid may pick up an additional player from the queue there’s an assumption that your side is getting more players. In fact the other side is keeping up and also getting additional players. We’ve verified across a number of realms that faction balance remains equal, even in cases where we found people actively attempting to use this to outnumber the opposing team. They weren't.

We keep a close eye on Tol Barad faction balance and turnover. (Source)

Dungeon & Raids Changes in 4.0.6
Granted those 80 or so lines of changes may not all be difficulty adjustments, but the majority of them will help in some way. You could argue that they're not the right changes, or not enough, and I could counter argue that they are, and you should try it first. But, what I don't believe you can accuse us of is sticking our fingers in our ears and ignoring anything. Not jumping to implement every request, yes, making measured approaches to alterations, yes, a slow decrease in content difficulty over time, yes indeed. (Source)

PvP Set Bonus Nerf in 4.0.6
Right now some hybrid classes benefit from wearing a pair of 2 piece set bonuses in PvP instead of their 4 piece bonus. We don't much like that behavior though, and we're going to eventually make the two bonuses exclusive so you can only ever have one 2 piece bonus at a time. We're not going to make that change in 4.0.6 as we realize some people have spent a lot of points to buy into the double-2 piece bonuses. However, it is likely we'll make the change at the start of the next PvP season. (Source)

Arena 2200 Weapons Delay
Sometimes, you have to make an unpopular decision, and you take a lot of heat for it. I understand that you guys aren't happy, and I'm sorry about that.

With regard to the weapon delay, as with any change which affects your gameplay, we always prefer to provide advance notice whenever possible, but in some situations it isn't an option. Unfortunately, this was one of those cases.

Some of you may recall that there were times in the past when it was common for the Arenas to be flooded by geared raiders actively engaging in arena matches exclusively to acquire weapons for the sake of defeating PvE content. That's not the intended design for arena rewards (that they be part of PvE progression), and that was a situation that we were hoping to avoid now. Raid content is very challenging currently, and as a direct result, there are fewer top tier weapons floating around. What we didn't want was a 'gold rush' on arenas, which would diffuse the competitive space there as well as give PvE focused players an undue advantage for raid content.

Ultimately, what we really want is parity in the availability of top end PvP and PvE weaponry. We want to see top end PvP and PvE items filtering into the player community at roughly the same time. This delay is an effort to achieve that aforementioned parity in this case. (Source)

Tabard Storage
We have a variety of things that we want to do as part of ongoing development for World of Warcraft, and a storage solution for tabards is just one of them. We understand that many of you care about this kind of feature, so we want to make sure that whatever we come up with is not only in line with our design goals (both in the short- and long-term), but is also appealing to you. We know that you have a lot of ideas on how this may be accomplished, so we're going to be keeping an eye on your discussions in the meantime. We may ask questions or point out potential concerns along the way, but don't let that discourage you; we love that you're being open with us and want you to keep sharing your thoughts and criticisms -- constructively, of course. (Source)

More Bank Slots?
We're not aware of any current plans to increase bank slots. The only thing that comes to mind is pretty much what other players have already pointed out -- bigger bags. With that in mind, you might have noted that in patch 4.0.6 the Illusionary Bag is being increased to 26 slots. I know you're saying that won't help you much though, but it can't hurt to mention it for others who might not be in quite as dire a situation storage-wise as you are. (Source)

New Wallpaper
A new wallpaper has been added to the official Wallpaper Gallery.

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